Although momentum for a federal paid sick leave requirement is growing, there are currently only a few states, sometimes limited to specific cities within these states, in which employers are required to provide paid sick leave to qualified individuals. These areas are:
- Berkley, California
- Emeryville, California
- Los Angeles, California
- Oakland, California
- San Diego, California
- San Francisco, California
- Santa Monica, California
- Duluth, Minnesota
- Minneapolis, Minnesota
- St. Paul, Minnesota
- Portland, Oregon
- Rhode Island
- District of Columbia
- New Jersey
- New Jersey cities of Bloomfield, East Orange, Irvington, Montclair, Newark, Passaic, Patterson, and Trenton
- Jersey City, New Jersey
- Seattle, Washington
- Tacoma, Washington
- New York, New York
- Weschester County, New York
- Montgomery County, Maryland
- Chicago, Illinois
- Cook County, Illinois
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Pittsburg, Pennsylvania
- Austin, Texas
- Dallas, Texas
- San Antonio, Texas
As of July 1, 2017, Arizona enacted Proposition 206, the Fair Wages and Healthy Families Act. According to the Act, employees gain eligibility or accrue hours for paid sick leave. The Fair Wages and Health Families Act mandates that full-time, part-time, and seasonal employees be granted paid sick leave. Workers will earn one hour of leave for every 30 hours worked. Employers with 15 or fewer employees must provide 24 hours of paid sick leave each year. Those with more than 15 employees must provide 40 hours each year.
Paid time off may be used for medical care related to mental or physical illnesses, injuries, and health conditions. It may also be granted to those caring for ill family members, who are defined by the law to be blood-related. An array of other health-related conditions and related court appearances are covered as well.
If time is not used, sick leave can be cashed out or rolled over at the employer’s discretion. Only 40 hours per week are required. This does not apply to employees who are let go.
California's Paid Sick Leave Law mandating paid sick leave fully went into effect on July 1, 2015. This law provides employees who work in California for 30 or more days within a year from the beginning of employment with paid sick leave. Employees, including part-time and temporary employees, will earn at least one hour of paid leave for every 30 hours worked. An employer may limit the amount of paid sick leave an employee can use in one year to 24 hours or three days. Accrued paid sick leave may be carried over to the next year, but it may be capped at 48 hours or six days. However, this law does not apply to employees covered by qualifying collective bargaining agreements, In-Home Supportive Services providers, and certain employees of air carriers.
Berkeley’s Paid Sick Leave Ordinance went into effect on October 1, 2017. It requires that employers provide paid sick leave to employees at the rate of 1 hour for every 30 hours worked. Employers, regardless of where they are located, must provide paid sick leave to their employees who perform at least two hours of work per week within the geographic limits of Berkeley. Employers with fewer than 25 employees may cap an employee’s accrual of paid sick leave at 48 hours. Employers with 25 or more employees may cap accrual of paid sick leave at 72 hours. An employee may use sick leave for when they are ill, injured or receiving medical care. They may also use it to care for a child, parent, legal guardian, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, spouse, registered domestic partner, or designated person.
Effective July 1, 2015, Emeryville’s city ordinance requires paid sick leave for most employees working within the city limits. The ordinance was amended, and the amendments went into effect February 2, 2016. Employees of small businesses (55 or fewer employees) may accrue 48 hours of paid sick leave a year, and employees of large businesses (56 or more employees) may accrue up to 72 hours a year. Employees may use the paid sick leave to care for their own illness or condition, a family member’s illness or condition, or their designated individual. Additionally, the employee can use this leave to care for a service dog.
Los Angeles, California
According to the Los Angeles Minimum Wage Ordinance, all employers must provide paid sick leave to their employees. The paid sick leave must be provided to all employees who work at least two hours in a particular week in the city of Los Angeles for the same employer for 30 days or more within a year. Employers can provide the entire 48 hours at the beginning of each year of employment or can provide the employee one hour of sick leave per every 30 hours worked. This is capped at 48 hours per year. Accrued unused paid sick leave carries over to the following year and may be capped at 72 hours. An employee may take paid sick leave for himself or herself, children, parents, grandchildren, grandparents, spouses, registered domestic partners, parents of a spouse or domestic partner, siblings, and any individual related by blood or affinity whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship.
As of March 2, 2015, all Oakland employees are entitled to paid sick leave. Oakland employees accrue paid sick leave at the rate of one hour for every thirty hours worked. Small businesses (fewer than ten employees) may cap accrued sick leave at forty hours, and all other businesses may cap accrued sick leave at seventy-two hours. Employees may use their leave to care for themselves or an immediate or extended family member. Additionally, employees who do not have a spouse or registered domestic partner are given a ten-day designation period after accruing the first hour of sick leave in order to designate an individual they would like to be covered under this policy.
San Diego, California
The San Diego Earned Sick Leave and Minimum Wage Ordinance went into effect on July 11, 2016. It requires that all employers provide paid earned sick leave to each employee who performs at least two hours of work within the geographical boundaries of San Diego. Employers must provide at least 40 hours at the beginning of the year or one hour of earned sick leave for every 30 hours worked. This can be capped at 80 hours.
San Francisco, California
Under the San Francisco Paid Sick Leave Ordinance, employers must provide paid sick leave to every employee who performs work either full or part-time in San Francisco. Paid sick time begins to accrue 90 days after the employee’s first day of work. Employees earn 1 hours of paid sick leave for every 30 hours of work. Sick leave is calculated in hour-unit increments, not in fractions of an hour. For employers with less than 10 employees, the required paid sick leave is capped at 40 hours. For employers with 10 or more employees, paid sick leave is capped at 72 hours. Sick leave time earned does not expire and carries over to the next year. However, an employee can use as many sick leave hours in one year as they wish, so long as they have not reached the total cap. Sick leave can be taken for illness, injury or to seek medical treatment or diagnosis for the employee, a family member or other designated person. If the employee does not have a spouse or registered domestic partner, they may designate one person. An employee may change the designated person once per year within 10 days from when sick leave begins to accrue.
Santa Monica, California
The Minimum Wage Ordinance requires Santa Monica employers to provide 40 hours (for businesses with 25 or fewer employees) or 72 hours (for businesses of 26 or more employees) of paid sick leave. Accrual rate is 1 hour for every 30 hours worked. Employers must carry over accrued, unused sick leave annually. Sick leave use follows State guidelines.
In Connecticut, according to Statute 31-57r on Paid Leave, employers who employ 50 or more people in any one quarter of the previous year must provide 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked by a service worker up to 40 hours per year. Part-time employees are covered by this law. The sick leave only accrues with actual hours worked (sick or other leave and vacation time are not included). Employees can carry over up to 40 unused accrued sick leave hours to the next year, but no employee can use more than 40 hours in any calendar year. Non-profit and certain other employers are except from this law. Employees can use this time if they are ill, injured, or need to attend to a medical condition for themselves, a spouse, or a child. For a list of exempt employers and list of all individuals who are considered service workers go to the Connecticut Department of Labor.
Effective January 1, 2021, Maine's revised statute on sick leave will be implmented. Employers with 10 or more employees must provide an hour of paid sick leave for each 40 hours worked. This is capped at 40 hours per year. Currently, the law does not allow for carryover of unused time. Maine’s law is the only one in the national that allows employees to use paid leave for any reason, including personal, family or medical reasons. Seasonal employees are not eligible for paid sick leave, and this law does not apply to employees with collective bargaining agreements. Currently, the law does not include any rules for carrying over unused time.
The Massachusetts Earned Sick Time Law states that employers with more than 10 employees must provide 1 hour of guaranteed sick leave for every 30 hours worked, not to exceed 40 hours per year. Employees can use this time if they are ill, injured, or need to attend to a medical condition for themselves, a spouse, a child, parent, or parent of a spouse. Employers with 10 or fewer employees are not required to provide paid sick leave, but they must provide unpaid sick leave under the same circumstances. Employees can carryover up to 40 hours of unused paid sick leave to the next year.
Effective March 29, 2019, Michigan’s new Paid Medical Leave Act requires employers with 50 or more employees to provide paid medical leave. According to the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, employees would accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 35 hours worked and up to 40 hours per year. Employers are allowed to limit an employee's time to one hour per week. In addition, employees are allowed to provide all 40 hours to sick leave at the start of a benefit year to avoid carry-over into the next. For new employees, time will begin to accrue on the effective date or date of hire, but an employer can choose to withhold paid leave until the person has reached 90 days.
On May 31, 2018, Duluth enacted the Earned Sick and Safe Time Ordinance, which will imposes paid sick leave obligations on employers beginning on January 1, 2020. The law require employers with five or more employees, which is measured by averaging the number of employees per week during the previous calendar year regardless of whether they work in Duluth, must provide paid sick and safe time (“PSST”) to their Duluth employees. An employee spends more than 50 percent of his or her working time in Duluth or is based in Duluth and does not spend more than 50 percent of working time in another place. The law also requires that employees must accrue PSST at least as fast as one hour of earned PSST for every 50 hours worked, up to 64 hours per year. Employers can limit employees’ use of PSST to 40 hours per year.
On May 27, 2016 the Minneapolis city council unanimously passed a mandatory paid sick leave ordinance. The ordinance requires employers with more than six employees to provide employees who work more than 80 hours a year with “one (1) hour of sick and safe time for every thirty (30) hours worked up to a maximum of forty-eight (48) hours in a … year.” Employees may use the leave for their own, or a family member’s, needs related to health, domestic abuse, sexual assault, stalking, and school, daycare, and workplace closings. The ordinance also requires employers to track the accrual and use of leave time.
In 2018, Minneapolis amended the ordinance so that sick and safe time would accrue only when an employee works “within the geographic boundaries of the City” and leave time could be used only “when the employee is scheduled to perform work within the geographic boundaries of the City.”
St. Paul, Minnesota
On January 1, 2018 all Saint Paul employers, of an size, with employees working in Saint Paul must provide Earned Sick and Safe Time (ESST) to their employees. Saint Paul’s Ordinance requires employers to provide earned safe and sick time for workers in Saint Paul. Employees must work at least 80 hours a year in Minneapolis. Employees accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. This is capped at 48 hours annually, but employees can accrue up to 80 hours of earned sick time because they can carryover from year to the next. Employees can use this time if they are ill, injured, or need to attend to a medical condition for themselves or a family member. Covered family members include “any individual related by blood or affinity whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship.”
In Oregon, a state law mandating paid sick leave went into effect on January 1, 2016. This law requires most employers with 10 employees or more to provide employees with 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked up to 40 hours a year. If an employer has operations in Portland, employers with six or more employees must provide paid sick leave. It will also require employers with fewer than 10 employees to provide up to 40 hours a year of unpaid sick leave. Employees can carryover 40 hours of unused paid sick leave, but the cap for total accrued paid sick leave is 80 hours. Employees can use this time if they are ill, injured, or need to attend to a medical condition for themselves, or a family member (as defined by OFLA- the Oregon Family Leave Act); for any purposes allowed under OFLA; for any purpose under the Oregon domestic violence, harassment, sexual assault, or stalking law; or in the event of a public health emergency or event where the employer excludes the employee from the workplace for health reasons.
Under Portland's Sick Time Ordinance, an employer must provide full-time, part-time and temporary employees to accrue 1 hour of protected sick time for every 30 hours worked, not to exceed 40 hours per week. For employers with more than 5 employees, this sick time must be paid. For employers with 5 or fewer employees, employers must provide up to 40 hours of unpaid sick leave. Sick time can be used to cover all or part of a shift. It can be used for to care for health issues of the employer or a family member or domestic and sexual violence issues for the employee or their family members.
The Healthy and Safe Families and Workplace Act requires employers with 18 or more employees to offer paid sick leave. Employers with fewer than 18 employees must provide at least unpaid sick leave. Employees accrue one hour for every 35 hours worked. This is capped at 40 hours per year. Paid sick time can be used for the employees physical or mental health needs or for a family member’s mental or physical needs.
District of Columbia
In. D.C., certain employees qualify for paid sick leave. To qualify, the employee must have worked for the employer for 1 year without a break in service, not including regular holiday, sick or personal leave granted by the employer, and has worked at least 1000 hours immediately preceding the requested sick leave. This law specifically excludes independent contractors, students, health care workers participating in a premium pay program, and wait staff and bartenders who work for a combination of wages and tips. Employers with 100 or more employees must provide eligible employees 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 37 hours worked, not to exceed 7 days per year. Employers with 25-99 employees must give employees 1 hour paid sick leave for every 43 hours worked, not to exceed 5 days a year. Employees with less than 25 employees must provide 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 87 hours worked, not to exceed 3 days per year. The sick leave can be used for physical or mental illness, injury or medical condition, or to obtain medical diagnosis or preventative care for the employee, their child, parent, spouse, domestic partner or other family member. This can also be used for services related to stalking, domestic violence or sexual abuse for any of those individuals. Under this law, a family member includes parents, parents-in-law, foster and grandchildren, children’s spouses, siblings, siblings’ spouses and any person who has shared a residence and committed relationship with the employee for the preceding 12 months or more.
Vermont Governor Shumlin signed the legislation into law on March 9, 2016. Employees (who work for employers who employ five or more people) will accrue one hour of paid time off for every 52 hours worked. Employers may limit accrual of sick days but must allow accrual up to at least three paid sick days per year in the first two years, and five paid sick days per year after that. In addition to a small business exception, the paid sick leave requirement does not apply to federal employees, employees under 18, temporary workers scheduled to work up to 20 weeks, and certain state, school, and healthcare employees. Employees can use this leave for their or a family member’s health needs. For a more detailed description of these exceptions see § 481(5) of the bill.
The full text of the bill can be found at the Vermont legislature website.
Effective October 29, 2018, the New Jersey Earned Sick Leave Law entitles employees to accrue 1 hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to 40 hours per year. The law permits that employers employ other policies that provide for additional leave time.
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New Jersey cities of Bloomfield, East Orange, Irvington, Montclair, Newark, Passaic, Patterson, and Trenton
All private sector workers employed in these cities are entitled to paid sick leave. Those employees who are covered by law will accrue paid sick leave at the rate of 1 hour per every 30 hours worked. Generally, employers with fewer than 10 employees may cap accrued sick leave at 24 hours per year, and employers with 10 or more employees may cap accrued sick leave at 40 hours per year. However, child care workers, home health care workers, and food service workers can only be capped at 40 hours per year regardless of their employer’s size. Covered employees may use their accrued leave for their own illness or condition, for a family member’s, or in the case of a public health emergency.
Jersey City, New Jersey
In Jersey City, under the Sick Leave Ordinance, private sector employees who work for employers with more than 10 employees earn 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, not to exceed 40 hours per year. Employers with less than 10 employees, must provide up to 24 hours of paid sick leave per year at the rate of 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. Once you hit 24 hours, you are eligible for up to 16 hours of unpaid sick leave. The right to sick leave is not affected by whether an employer works full or part-time. If you are a child care worker, home health care worker or a food service worker you are entitled to 40 hours of paid sick leave per year regardless of the size of the company you work for. However, this law does not affect collective bargaining agreements.
Washington state law requires employers to provide paid sick leave. Employees accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked. This applies to all employees, including temporary and part-time employees. There is no cap on how many hours can be accrued per year. Unused paid sick leaves balances of 40 hours or less must carry over from one year to the next. Employees may use paid sick leave for them or a family member for a physical or mental health condition. A family member is a spouse or domestic partner, child, grandparent, grandchild, parent or sibling.
Effective January 1, 2018, Washington employers must provide all employees with paid sick leave. Seattle amended its law to expand the types of absences where employees can use paid sick leave. These amendments went into effect March 18, 2020. Now employees can use paid sick leave when any family member’s place of care of school is closed. The amendment also now allows employees to take paid leave if they work for an employer with more than 250 full-time employees and if the place of business closes for any health or safety reason. Under the law employees must accrue paid sick leave at a minimum rate of 1 hour for every 40 hours worked. Paid sick leave must be paid to employees at their normal hourly compensation. Leave may be used no sooner than the employees 90th calendar day after the start of their employment. When sick time is not used, no more than 40 hours may be carried over into the following year.
Effective January 1, 2018, under Tacoma’s Paid Sick Leave, workersworker in Tacoma, Washington are eligible for sick leave 90 days after hire. Under the law employees must accrue paid sick leave at a minimum rate of 1 hour for every 40 hours worked. When sick time is not used, no more than 40 hours may be carried over into the following year. For absences exceeding three days, employers may require documentation to show that the leave was for an authorized purpose. Employees may use the paid sick leave for all the state law reasons but also for bereavement.
New York, New York
Effective May 5, 2018, under New York City’s Earned Safe and Sick Time Act (Paid Safe and Sick Leave Law), New York City employers with 5 or more employers must provide employees paid sick leave. New York City’s sick leave law was recently expanded to include siblings, grandchildren, grandparents, children and parents of the employee.
The law does not apply to employees who work 80 hours less a calendar year in New York City or government employees. New York City’s sick leave law was recently expanded to include siblings, grandchildren, grandparents, children, any other individual related by blood, and parents of the employee. Employees and may accrue one hour for every 30 hours worked and may accrue up to 40 sick hours per year. Up to 40 hours of unused safe and sick leave can be carried over to the next calendar year. Paid sick leave must be paid to employees at their normal hourly compensation. Leave may be used no sooner than the employees 120th calendar day after the start of their employment.
Effective September 11, 2017, New York first responders and other state employees who developed health conditions after working at the World Trade Center site following 9/11 terror attacks are entitled to unlimited sick leave at 100 percent of their regular salary.
Weschester County, New York
Effective April 10, 2019, employees in Westchester County are entitled to paid sick leave. Employees of an employer with 5 or more employees will earn 1 hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked. Paid sick time is capped at 40 hours per year. Earned sick time can carry over to the following year, but the maximum amount of sick leave for any given year remains at 40 hours. Sick time can be used for an employee’s mental or physical health or to care for a family member.
Effective February 11, 2018, Maryland Healthy Working Families Act requires employers with 15 or more employees must provide up to 40 hours of earned, paid sick and safe leave. Employers may offer leave accrual of 1 hour for every 30 hours worked or may offer the entire 40 hours of leave at the beginning of the year. Employers with 14 or fewer employees must offer unpaid sick and safe leave. Employees may carry over up to 40 hours of leave per year under the law. Employers may cap the use of paid leave at 64 hours per year and may also cap the accrual of leave at 64 hours total and 40 hours per year.
Under the new law leave must be offered to care for the physical or mental health of the employee or a family member, to take maternity or paternity leave, or to obtain relief in response to a domestic or sexual assault of the employee or a family member.
Maryland's law does not apply to employees who regularly work fewer than 12 hours a week, are under the age of 18, are independent contractors, work in the agricultural sector on an agricultural operation, or work on an as-needed basis in the health or human services industry.
There are additional exceptions for parties to collective bargaining agreements. The result is that Montgomery County's law, with more requirements for employers, remains in force. The text of the law can be found at the Maryland General Assembly website.
Montgomery County, Maryland
Montgomery County’s Earned Sick and Safe Law went into effect on October 1, 2016. It requires most employers in the County to provide earned sick and safe leave to employees for work performed in the County. The intent of the law is to provide employees with paid leave or time off to take care of things such as sickness, family illnesses or domestic violence. The legislation requires employers to provide earned sick and safe leave at a rate of at least one hour for every 30 hours an employee works in the County up to 56 hours in a calendar year. To help small businesses, an employer with fewer than five employees would have to provide an employee with up to 32 hours of paid sick and safe leave per year plus an additional 24 hours of unpaid sick and safe leave. Many County employers already meet or exceed the benefits required by the new law and are unaffected by the new law.
The City of Chicago Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave Ordinance went into effect July 1, 2017. The law covers any employee who works in Chicago and who works more than 80 hours during a 120-day period. Employees accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked. This is capped at 40 hours per year. Sick leave may be used by employees to care for themselves or their family members when they are sick or to
receive medical care. If any employer is not covered by FMLA, and employee can carry over half of their unused paid sick leave to the next year. This is capped at 20 hours. If an employer is covered by FMLA, employees are entitled to carry over up to 40 hours into the next year.
Cook County, Illinois
Effective July 1, 2017, the Cook County Earned Sick Leave Ordinance establishes a right to paid sick leave for employees of employers in Cook County. The ordinance covers any employees who work for compensation, for a minimum of two hours in any two-week period, and/or physically present within Cook County. The ordinance does provide for some exceptions that include but are not limited to certain individuals under a bona fide collective bargaining agreement, independent contractors, and individuals under the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act.
Effective May 13, 2015, the Philadelphia Sick Leave Ordinance requires that employees who work at least 40 hours a year within the City of Philadelphia be eligible to earn paid/unpaid sick leave. Employees are eligible to earn 1 hour of sick time for every 40 hours they work. Employers with 10 or more employees are required to provide paid sick leave. Employers with 9 or fewer employees are required to provide unpaid sick leave. The sick time is capped at 40 hours per calendar year. Earned sick time can be used for the employee’s own health needs, to care for a family member or for leave due to domestic abuse or sexual assault.
The City of Pittsburgh Paid Sick Days Act went into effect March 15, 2020. Employees accrue 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 35 hours worked. For employers with 15 or more employees, paid sick leave is capped at 40 hours per year. For employers with fewer than 15 employees, paid sick leave is capped at 24 hours per year. Unused sick time can be carried over to the following year.
The City of Austin Sick Time Ordinance requires employers to provide sick leave to employees who work at least 80 hours of work for pay within the City of Austin in a calendar year. Paid sick time is accrued at 1 hour per 30 hours worked. An employee can use sick time for their physical or mental health or to care for a family member’s physical or mental health. The yearly cap for earned sick time is 64 hours per employee per year for an employer with more than 15 employees and 48 hours per employee for an employer with 15 or less employees.
The City of Dallas Earned Paid Sick Time (Paid Sick Leave) Ordinance went into effect on August 1, 2019 for employers with 6 or more employees. The City of Dallas will not enforce the Ordinance, except for violations of the anti-retaliation provision, until April 1, 2020. No part of the Ordinance goes into effect for employers with 5 or fewer employees until August 1, 2021. The Ordinance covers employees who work at least 80 hours within the geographic boundaries of the City of Dallas in a year. An employee will accrue 1 hour for every 30 hours worked. Paid leave is capped at sixty-four hours per employee per year for medium or large employers and forty-eight hours per employee per year for small employers.
**On March 30, a federal judge in the Eastern District of Texas issued a preliminary injunction blocking the City of Dallas’ paid sick leave ordinance. The ordinance took effect Aug. 1, 2019, but the City of Dallas was not authorized to engage in any enforcement efforts (other than with respect to the Dallas Ordinance’s anti-retaliation provision) until April 1.
San Antonio, Texas
Litigation is currently ongoing for the San Antonio Sick and Safe Leave law.
Employees will still accrue an hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. But the amended ordinance requires employers to provide at least 56 hours of paid sick and safe leave per year for full-time employees. This is a slight change from the previous language, which required a yearly cap between 48 and 64 hours per year depending on the size of the employer.
Meanwhile, several other specifics of the ordinance were updated.